Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast | Slow Cooker Recipe

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A slow cooker pork recipe to impress! Perfectly roasted pork loin with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.
Sometimes you might need a recipe to impress, where you’re willing to take a few extra steps to make it just right. Enter this slow cooker pork recipe for Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast. It’s sweet & savory, with the perfect crispy coating from a two-minute optional broil.

Let’s Talk Pork

I was invited by Indiana’s Family of Farmers to tour the farm of Heather & Marc Hill, proud pork farmers for 4 generations.

Heather Hill proud pork mom

At the Hills’ farm, they raise corn, soybeans and wheat, but their main business is as pork farmers. A majority of their hogs are sold to Tyson Foods, but they also sell a small amount under their own private label, The Pork Shoppe, to two local farmers Marcets, an orchard and a food hub.

Something you may not know is that pork is actually more nutritious than chicken and other meat, with less fat and more protein. How does Heather prefer hers? In burger form! After I said I had never tried a pork burger, she promptly raided her mother-in-law’s freezer (shhh!) and handed over frozen pork burgers for my family to try. Thanks Heather!

Be sure to read more about my tour of the Hills’ farm right after the recipe, below. I even asked the tough questions.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast

I’ve been wanting to try more slow cooker recipes, especially in the summertime so I can avoid turning on the oven. Most recipes are no-fail – it’s really hard to mess anything up in the slow cooker. This pork loin roast recipe is no exception!

Where is a loin cut on a pig?It does have a couple of added steps, but they’re totally optional – if you’re pressed for time, or you just want to set-it-and-forget-it, by all means it will still be tender and delicious. But I *highly* recommend the extra effort – it will pay off with compliments and requests for seconds, even if just from your spouse & kids!

Heather recommended a pork loin as being one of the leanest cuts, very tender, and great for slow cooking. I bought a 6-lb pork loin, but because I was only feeding my family of 5, I asked the butcher to cut it in half and wrap separately. One half went straight into the freezer for another meal at another time!

Let’s get started!

First, start a skillet heating up on medium-high, and add 2 tbs of your favorite cooking oil. Then, make a rub with about 2 tsp Kosher salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Rub all over the pork.

Next, sear each side in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes on each side until golden.

A slow cooker pork recipe to impress! Perfectly roasted pork loin with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.

Here’s the easy part: Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water, and cook for 5-6 hours on Low. {Safety tip: Fully cooked pork should be 145 degrees and no pink in the middle. Learn more about handling pork.}

Before the last hour, make the Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (could replace with apple juice or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2-3 Tbs corn starch
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce

A slow cooker pork recipe to impress! Perfectly roasted pork loin with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.

Whisk together all ingredients in a small pot, heating until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 3-4 minutes, until glaze thickens a bit (it will still be runny).

Baste pork loin 2-3 times during the last hour.

This next step is optional, but it’s where the carmelized goodness on the top of the pork comes from.

Heat broiler on high setting. Line a casserole dish with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully remove roast from slow cooker and place into foil. Brush more Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze on top and sides, and broil for 1-2 minutes (I set my oven timer, because I would totally get distracted and poof! goes dinner). Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Because I’m a super-freak about the broiler, I checked it after 1 minute, popped it back in the oven for another 1 minute …

A slow cooker pork recipe to impress! Perfectly roasted pork loin with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.

Perfect!

I chose to slice mine, but it falls apart so easily you could pull the pork with a couple of forks and have on sandwiches. Drizzle a little more glaze on top before serving.

Rosemary Skillet Potatoes

As a complementary side dish, try Rosemary Skillet Potatoes!

Peel potatoes. A rule of thumb I use for roasted potatoes is one less than the number of people being served, so I used 4 for my family of 5. Of course, it also depends on the size and variety of potato; I used a Yukon Gold variety which explains why they’re so yellow!

When you’re cutting potatoes for skillet roasting, it’s good to have them fairly even-sized pieces for even cooking, and the thinner they are, the faster they’ll cook.

Place potatoes into a medium-sized bowl and drizzle about 2 Tbs of olive oil. Add maybe 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, and 1-2 tbs dried Rosemary. Toss to coat evenly.

Rosemary Skillet Potatoes pair nicely with Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast for a complete meat-and-potatoes meal!

Pour potatoes into skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring often to avoid sticking. Plan on about 15 minutes, give or take.

Place Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast onto a platter, and scatter Rosemary Skillet Potatoes around the roast.

Hope you enjoy these family-favorite recipes!

A slow cooker pork recipe to impress!  Perfectly roasted pork loin with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.

Before you go, you might also love to try these:

More on my Pork Farm Tour

Stalls vs Pens

I asked Heather about the controversy surrounding gestational pens vs individual stalls. There are, for sure, pro’s and con’s of each placement for gestation. The Hill’s farm uses both. On one hand, in individual stalls they’re not able to turn around; but when they’re nursing, the bars help to protect the piglets from mama pig laying on them. On the other hand; while pens do allow the sows to move around freely, Heather described how some sows are like “nasty girls in high school”. The boss sow won’t let others eat if she doesn’t want them to eat, and they fight (I saw a few in the pens with scratch marks). Individual stalls can provide protection, and the farmer can make sure they’re getting the exact amount of water and feed that they need. Marc agreed, and said there’s a hierarchy in every pen. If you mix the pigs up into different pens, they have to start the hierarachy battle over again. “There’s always one boss.”

Heather says, “I think it’s hard for me when someone hasn’t been to a farm, or they haven’t talked to a farmer, and they question if we’re doing what’s right for the animals. My husband wasn’t forced to be a farmer, it’s what he wanted to do.

Hill Farms

Marc is the 4th generation to raise pigs in Hancock County, and Heather says the processes they have in place today are based on what they’ve learned through school, and what past generations have done. Marc’s parents raised pigs outside. and Heather’s grandfather raised pigs outside, but raising pigs outdoors in Indiana is “not fun.” Weather conditions and coyote predators are two reasons to keep pigs safe in climate-controlled barns.

When Pigs Get Sick

When your kids are sick, you follow your doctor’s orders, and sometimes that means medication. The same applies to farm animals. A lot of trust is placed into their veterinarian, and if he advises antibiotics are necessary, then they need to treat the pigs. To see “antibiotic-free” on a label in the grocery store is “interesting”, Heather says, because any meat (or milk) you buy at the grocery store is antibiotic-free because there are withdrawal periods to follow. When they go to market, it’s out of their system.

And if you wonder about artificial growth hormones – it’s illegal to use hormones in the production of pork or poultry. Period!

Heather Hill proud pork mom

Thanks to the Hill family

At the core of every farm is family, and as Heather states, “These people want to do what’s right, because it’s how their family makes a living, and it’s a part of who we are. It’s not just one day, ‘Oh, let’s raise pigs!’, it’s what our families have been doing for generations. You want to do it right to make those past generations proud.”

Thank you to Heather & Marc for showing me around your farm, answering my newbie, suburban-girl questions and being incredibly gracious in sharing life on your farm! Be sure to visit Heather’s take on my visit to her farm in this post about One Pot Spaghetti!

4.6 from 10 reviews
Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast | Slow Cooker Recipe
 
This Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin Roast is a recipe to impress! Cook in a slow cooker, make a sweet & savory glaze to baste, and finish with a quick broil for a carmelized crust.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lb pork loin roast
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup bourbon (could replace with apple juice or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2-3 Tbs corn starch
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
Directions
  1. Start a skillet heating up on medium-high, and add 2 tbs of your favorite cooking oil.
  2. Make a rub with 2 tsp Kosher salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, and rub over roast.
  3. Sear each side in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes on each side until golden.
  4. Place in slow cooker with ½ cup water, and cook for 5-6 hours on low.
  5. Before the last hour, make the Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze.
  6. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small pot, heating until boiling.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 3-4 minutes, until glaze thickens a bit (it will still be runny).
  8. Baste pork loin 2-3 times during the last hour.
  9. Optional: Place roast onto foil-lined pan, baste with glaze and broil on high 1-2 minutes to carmelize crust.

This post was sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers, but all words and opinions are 100% my own. 

Comments

  1. says

    That looks amazing!! I am definitely going to have to give this one a try. Maybe with a side of some kind of apple dish as well in the fall.

  2. Yasha says

    Looks great and I definitely want to try this soon!!
    I do have a question though? On the Bourbon.. How much? It say 1/2 bourbon… Thank you:-)

    • says

      Thank you for letting me know I missed that detail! It is 1/2 cup bourbon, which can easily be reduced. I’ve updated the directions in the post, thanks!

  3. Karen C says

    I made this over the weekend. Instead of bourbon, I used 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. It was awesome. My fiance loved it! So easy and so good.

  4. says

    What a delicious looking pork loin roast! And let’s be honest, you had me at bourbon 😉 I love both drinking it and cooking with it! Will definitely have to try this out over the holiday season – yum!

  5. Nicole says

    have you ever tried this recipe in a pressure cooker? I’m wondering if I can speed up the cooking time and still get the great flavor?

    • Shaina says

      I did see my comment below for instructions I used to pressure cook. Came out amazing, cut cook time from 5 to 6 hours down to about 1 including basting and broiling after pressure cooking…

  6. says

    The pork loin recipe was a hit in our family. We can see using the glaze on salmon in the broiler also. We will be keeping this recipe for many years to come. However, the potatoes were not so well received.

  7. Shaina says

    I used Jack Daniels whiskey cause I had no bourbon in the house, and pressure cooked (45 min with a 4.5 lb tenderloin) instead of slow cooked, then basted every 3 minutes in a 450 oven 3 or 4 times before broiling. Also had issues with corn starch clumping in sauce (threw sauce in blender before using to compensate ) so I’d suggest making a rue with it before adding next time. Otherwise followed directions exactly. Came out AMAZING. Hubby was sceptical, but after tasting he insisted I save the recipe to do again. Even my super-picky-eater kids loved it (BOTH of them, which NEVER happens… lol) So tender and juicy. The sauce was so good I wished there was more to smother it in after slicing. Definitely a new family fav in our house! Thanks for the great recipe!

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